Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Jessica Brown

Second Advisor

Frances Pharr

Third Advisor

Coryndon Luxmoore


The genesis of this project lies in the personal experiences that led me to believe that the culturally learned and perceived gender roles, norms, and expectations limit a person’s health, educational, professional, economic, and social abilities.

The work began by finding the evidence connecting the learned, perceived gender roles, norms, and allied cultural expectations to the ability to think freely. The research revealed the limiting effects of gender roles and norms on self-identity, personal belief systems, and a place’s culture. The study further led to uncovering the link between limiting personal belief systems and cultural environment to the lack of openness of a person to receive new knowledge and ideas. This lack of openness was then identified to impair an individual’s decision-making ability, which ultimately negatively affects the ability to self-actualize.

Gender Socialization was identified as a fundamental process that leads to the exposure, development, adoption, and conformity to the limiting gender roles, norms, stereotypes, and expectations.

Research and expert consultations led to identifying continuous consciousness-raising about gender socialization and stereotype conformity as an efficacious strategy to break the gendered lenses. The early adolescence (12-15 yr.) age group was identified as a window of opportunity to mitigate the effects of gender socialization because of the physical, cognitive, and behavioral changes that occur at this age.

In response to this opportunity, initial concept development, prototyping, and testing of a digital tool intended to evoke thought on the topic were accomplished. The tool is designed with the intention to make a complex subject matter accessible and relatable to young adolescents. The goal is to help them reflect on their own biases and gradually become aware of the effects of gender socialization on their choices and decision-making. The emotions of friendship and empathy are used as vehicles to highlight the significance of breaking deeply gendered outlooks.


View exhibition online: Chetan Dusane, Katti Batti



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